As much as I consider Darksiders II to be a complete package in and of itself, a little extra content on the side certainly doesn’t hurt. Especially if it adds to the lore that has been established in the two games already released thus far. While Argul’s Tomb doesn’t contribute much in terms of exposition, it at least makes for some enjoyable dungeon exploration.
The Argul’s Tomb content can be accessed from the main menu by selecting Downloadable Content, something that took me way too long to figure out on my own (I thought that option was just for downloading it, whoops). Once selected, you are dumped into an icy realm not unlike what was experienced at the beginning of the main campaign. Ostegoth awaits you there and tells you the story of Argul, who was defeated by the Lord of Bones and imprisoned in a tomb. However, his power still poses a threat, and it’s up to Death to seek it out. And, hey, there’s a reward in it for you too.
While the quest itself doesn’t do a good job of masking its nature of being what is basically a sidequest, it matters very little once you actually get started. There are three segments to Argul’s Tomb, one of them being a path through icy caverns while wielding a large cannon. You heard me right. Late in the main campaign, there was a segment where you had to blast away zombies with a giant gun, third person shooter style, and that gameplay mechanic makes a return in this DLC. The gun that you wield fires little rockets that can be detonated with the left trigger and has an unlimited capacity. The only downside is that if you fire too many at once, you have to wait for the gun to slowly reload itself before you can launch more. This segment acts as a sidequest within a sidequest, if you will, as I didn’t earn anything from doing it aside from random loot drops.
The core of the content are the two dungeons that you have to navigate in order to find Argul. Both are within short walking distance of each other, so if you were looking for a new sprawling world to explore, you might be disappointed. The first of these needs to be traversed in order to locate a key that is required to access the other dungeon. While neither dungeon is all that long, the first of these is by far the shorter of the two, though both end with major boss fights. The first boss was rather easy by comparison, utilizing predictable movements and spawning enemies in order to do away with you. The final boss took me several tries, as he hits hard and is not always in a position where he can be damaged. Once defeated, Ostegoth will reward you with a unique combat item, without saying too much more about what took place. It’s a bit anti-climactic in this way, but it’s fun while it lasts at any rate.
I did encounter at least one game breaking bug in my adventure though. There is a segment during the final dungeon of the content where you are introduced to a new enemy type that flies around and can cast ice spells that freeze you. Whenever you turn into Death’s grim reaper form, any ice spell that hits you at that point locks your character animation in place. Attacking doesn’t do anything to the enemies, and likewise, you am invincible to them. The grim reaper form also never runs out, and since you’re locked in the room, you can’t escape. I had to revert back to my last save to get out of it. I thought this was a fluke at first, until I did the exact same thing the second time, only to have it happen to me again. I guess the lesson here is to not use the reaper form when fighting these enemies.
Your level and equipment from the main game carries over to the content, minus a few of the late game required items. Anything you earn can then be taken back with you into the campaign if you so choose. The entire experience took me about two hours to get through, which isn’t bad considering the content is free for users who bought the Limited Edition brand new. If you got the game used, or are missing the code for any reason, purchasing a new one will run 560 Microsoft Points, which equates to about $7. It seems like a lot to replace content you would have otherwise gotten for free, as something like $5 would’ve been more of a sweet spot for something like this. This goes doubly so for the fact that once you complete the content, there is little reason for you to go back to it. There is more content on the way though, and regardless what value you place in Argul’s Tomb cost-wise, it’s still an a fun experience and more like it can only be a good thing.
Appeal Factor: Great
Final Score: Enjoyable Game!
Short Attention Span Summary
While Darksiders II: Argul’s Tomb doesn’t offer anything that one can’t live without, it can’t be denied that it does bolster the already satisfying campaign with some new dungeons to traverse. Offering two new dungeons and a short shooter segment, the somewhat brief experience is well designed and a joy to play. Even better is that the content is free to those who purchased the Limited Edition brand new (hope you saved your codes!) though it can be had at the cost of 560 Microsoft Points. Hopefully, the next round of DLC is as well designed as Argul’s Tomb.
What Video Game Release for January 2014 are you most excited for?
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